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Articles: Bad Website? No Sale For You

I was hanging out with my friends the other night and I overheard them saying, “If you have a bad website, I’m just not going to buy from you.” What does this statement really mean?

I think it means that a bad website can create a lack of trust. These days, it seems that everyone has a cousin that can whip out a quick website and host it to boot. The savvy online customer takes one look at the crappy website and thinks, “Nope, if they can’t spend the money on a website, how good could their customer service be?

You might compare that to your personal Facebook page. When looking for a job, would your future employer be pleased with what they found? Maybe that picture of you dancing on the bar at your sister’s 21st birthday doesn’t quite describe you anymore. Just as your Facebook page should be kept relevant and up-to-date, your business website absolutely should as well.

One of the developing situations in regards to the internet are the review sites, such as Yelp and Google Places. The problem is that often consumers will only post reviews when they’ve had a perceived negative experience. Yelp has even come under plenty of fire (and lawsuits) for having their system (much less their name) encouraging the same, meaning that only a few knuckleheads can impact a business, which isn’t a good thing. Those sites are your best friend and worst enemy.

What does it take to have a stellar online presence? Start with branding and sincere engagement. Branding online means building your image. Start by having a similar look and feel in copy and graphics on Facebook, Google Ads, Twitter and your website. The more cohesive your branding is, the more it will stick with customers as they think of your business.

When dealing in the social space on Facebook and review websites, sincerity is the answer. Your customers want to interact with the human side of your brand. When your brand lands a true fan, that fan will make it their mission to spread the good word about your company to all their fans and followers. This kind of brand advocacy is not something that can be bought, and that makes it very powerful.

Engagement comes from being active in the online space. I absolutely hate to see a business Facebook page with only 10 posts ever and very few fans. You gotta be there to shape the conversation about your brand online. Keep it light and fun and take responsibility for customer concerns and feelings, and you will also keep your customers.

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